It is great to be Young-specially in Today’s world full of options, opportunities and choices. Moreover the pace of change brings up newer challenges and opens new horizons continuously at a dizzying speed.
While the romance, thrills, carefree attitude, which are the right of the youth along with the great atmosphere of the colleges and universities, have always been there along with some glorious uncertainties of future; today there is a greater appreciation of the ‘Power of The Youth’ (We are a young Nation with over 50% population below 25 years of age)
Wordsworth wrote in the preface to the lyrical Ballads in 1798 ‘ Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive and to be young was very heaven’
The sentiment is eternal.
Today however the world is acknowledging the energy, dynamism passion and power of the youth.
What are the major differences now?
• Information, Communications and Connectivity have placed vast amounts of information at our disposal-to keep abreast with the latest in everything, creating greater awareness and reducing distances. Though this is for everyone, irrespective of the age, yet the young are more technology savvy and absorb new ideas like a sponge .The elders are still fighting ‘Resistance to Change’
• Costs of travel and communication have come down drastically, making these affordable for greater numbers.
• These technologies have reached villages also, opening up new avenues for women, the uneducated, farmers (they can quote cost of cotton on the New York exchange and Rupee/ Dollar parity)
• New educational/ vocational course are available and hence studying to be an engineer or a doctor are not the only tickets for success. Exciting opportunities in arts, music, Internet marketing and startups are available.
• A not so good at studies young man with some flair for drawing today earns 60K/month in the field of web designing.
• An engineer, Shankar Mahadevan has a made very successful career as a music director and singer. Chetan Bhagat, an Engineer, M BA is today a very successful author of best selling fiction.
• ‘Sweat Equity’ has a value, based on powerful ideas and talent.
• The old saying ‘I have more experience than your age’ is no more valid as the pace of technological change has brought about a paradigm shift and a 360 degrees change, rendering the ‘so called experience’ either redundant or less important. (Even experienced people can win if they think young and are ready to change)
• Grey hair is no more a ticket for corporate success.
• The rigid dress codes of yesteryears are out. You can dress (almost) as you please, listen to good music on your i-pod or the computer (instead of the silent hospital like atmosphere prevalent earlier in the offices)
• Billionaire techies like Bill Gates and maverick entrepreneurs like Richard Branson have changed rules of the game-garage start ups, no college degrees. (Don’t get it wrong, education is always an asset and most of these billionaires fund primary and higher education).
• Good (and bad) news is that ‘The New Rule of The Game’ is infact that ‘There is No Set Rule’. Youth of today can write their own rules.
When all this sounds so exciting (!) why is there a generational conflict? (Though it has always been there as a natural corollary of the age difference)
• Do the elders feel threatened by the speed of change?
• Do they feel that the old customs, styles, rule of the game are no more valid?
• Do they feel envious about youngsters holding hands in public and expressing affection, which they could never do?
• Do they secretly want to dress like the youth of today?
• Are they jealous on realizing that a young person with two years of B.P.O or Internet work experience earns more than their advanced carrier wage?
To some degree(s) Yes, but it is not unnatural. While the ‘Youth’ must have their time and place under the sun, they can give some space to the elders by not flaunting the freedom and elders should realize that their children are getting most of the choices they did not have-let them have fun. Everyone has one’s own destiny.
Let us not look at constants (except for the basic tenets of truth, integrity, love etc.) and flow with the tide.
What became obsolete in the last 30 years today becomes so in 10 or even 5 years. So the challenge for the Youth is even greater because tomorrow’s younger generation will find a 30 years old person to be old (not so cool) and would have yet newer more creative technologies (may be they will even have to be polite to robots!). So focus, find your own road (with the roadmap), dress as you like and HAVE FUN.